Furniture Consignment Gallery Blog

Furnishing Your First Apartment? 5 Tips to Help You Decorate Like a Pro

Posted by Jay Frucci on Fri, February 21, 2020 @ 02: 28 PM

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My very first apartment after college was grim but it had the advantage of being cheap. Most of my friends had headed back to their hometowns after graduation. I’d decided to stay in Lexington, Kentucky and get a job. For the first time in my life, I was utterly alone and lonely.

The barrenness of my apartment didn’t help matters. The previous tenant had left a couple of pieces of furniture: a wobbly card table, a couple of folding chairs and a milk crate. The milk crate, interestingly, proved the most useful. Upside down, it was an excellent television stand. And when a new friend suggested we pool resources and rent a nice furnished place, I used the crate to carry my meager belongings to our new digs.

Looking back, I’d advise my younger self to do things a little differently. Everyone deserves a comfortable retreat, especially those just starting to make their way in the world. So here are some tips for furnishing your first apartment:

• Never buy new furniture for your first apartment, or even your second or third. You’ll get more for your money at consignment or thrift stores. Upscale consignment shops carry high-quality, name-brand pieces that are durable and stylish. Some of the solid-wood furniture made by reputable companies such as Ethan Allen and Hitchcock are almost indestructible.

• Discover your style. Don’t settle for furniture left on the curb as trash and don’t let your mom pawn her old stuff off on you. You’re going to be hauling that chest of drawers up and down stairs many times in the next few years. So make sure it is something you actually like.

• Buy quality. You don’t want a table whose legs fall off as you’re lurching sweatily down four flights of stairs. Beware the online furniture stores. Most of the time, you’ll have to assemble the pieces you buy, an experience both time-consuming and challenging. Some of the furniture sold online is so shoddy it won’t last long enough to make it to your second apartment.

• Have fun shopping. After all, you want your friends to be comfortable when they come over for game night or to watch the game. If you really want to express your personality, buy older pieces made of solid maple, walnut, mahogany or oak and paint them. A lime green coffee table? Why not?

• Take pride in your first place. Start collecting furniture and art that is meaningful to you. Some pieces you’ll shed as you move up in the world, and some pieces will become treasures that you’ll take to your next home. I didn’t keep that milk crate, but I probably should have. One of my three boys might need it in a couple of years.

Don’t Battle Traffic This Weekend! Make Your Home a Soulful Retreat with Help from FCG

Posted by Jay Frucci on Fri, February 14, 2020 @ 05: 54 PM

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Just as winter hits peak tediousness, we get a reprieve! A long weekend, in honor of George Washington or your choice of any of the other 44 past and present-day POTUS’s. So what are you going to do with such a valuable little gem of potential leisure?

Ski? No, not unless you love waiting in long lift lines. Disney World? Nope, not unless hordes of howling kids are appealing. My recommendation: three days of hygge, which is the art of enjoying convivial companionship and maximum coziness in your home. It’s a real trend, thanks to the Danish.

Think fuzzy socks, a blazing fire, a good book, a glass of wine all enjoyed in the comfort of your very own home. Hygge, pronounced hoo-ga, is a way of achieving soulful pleasure. To us frenetic Americans, it sounds indulgent, I know. But surveys show the Danes are the happiest people in the world.

Maybe they’re on to something. So here’s my recommendation: ditch the traffic jams and fill your weekend with some hygge. But, uh-oh, what if your home isn’t so cozy? What if it is the opposite of hygge, say, as warm and comforting as a warehouse of old office furniture?

Then you need to visit FCG. In fact, our talented staffers have created displays that are the very definition of hygge: stylish furniture, inviting throws, candles and carefully selected lamps to create a soothing pool of light. You’re not ready to tackle a home improvement project? Then create a hyggekrog, a nook with a comfortable chair, a side table, a place all your own layered with pillows and blankets where you can curl up with a cup of tea.

You’ll find everything you need to create your retreat at FCG. We have all the most popular and highest quality name brands, and best of all, it’s a bargain! Most of our furniture is 40% to 80% off the retail price of those new furniture showrooms down the road.

To tempt you even more, we’re going to take an additional 15% off our current prices from now through the end of the day on Tuesday at our three stores in Hanover, Natick and Plymouth. Hygge away, my friends. You’ll thank me later.

 

*Cannot be combined with any other offer or promotion. Cannot be used on prior purchases. ALL SALES ARE FINAL. Promotion ends Tuesday February 18, 2020 at midnight.

Not Your Father’s Retirement: Visit FCG for Help Planning Your Next Act

Posted by Jay Frucci on Fri, February 07, 2020 @ 07: 11 PM

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Watching the Super Bowl last Sunday, I realized that the world had shifted a bit on its axis. At half-time, we all got a riveting look at two middle-aged women who defied expectation and gravity with a wildly physical performance. Even my boys couldn’t take their eyes off the screen as Jennifer Lopez, 50, was writhing around a stripper pole in her silver catsuit.

Ahem, neither could I.

Let’s face it. We’re in new territory now when it comes to aging and we’re going to have to set aside fusty assumptions about getting older. This is particularly important for those who are one the verge of – or in the midst of – retiring. There’s a whole new playbook for downsizing and retiring.

For older generations, downsizing was simply about getting rid of the big house and all its responsibilities. Nowadays, experts don’t even call it “downsizing.” The process is called “smart-sizing.” And that means finding the right fit for your lifestyle for early retirement, when you’re likely to be very active with activities and travel, and later retirement when you’ll need proximity to health care and family.

At every point, the process can be challenging. Fear not. At FCG, we’re experts and we’re here to help with issues large and small.

One of the first tasks of downsizing: what do you do with a house full of stuff? Some of it may be valuable; some not so much. Secondly, you’ll need to figure out what will actually fit into that new condo or beachfront home. Do you buy a place to fit your lifestyle or the stuff you’ve accumulated over the decades? What items have sentimental value for you – or your kids?

FCG has one important piece of advice to offer as you begin the process. Give yourself plenty of time. There are surprises and detours along the way towards any destination, including downsizing and retirement. Haste makes waste, and stress.

Even if retirement is only on the horizon, come talk to us about the resale value of the items you may not want to keep. That visit also will give you an opportunity to view our inventory where you’ll see trendy new styles perfect for those who, like J Lo, want to defy expectations.

And, best of all, with FCG’s help, you can update your home without paying full retail. We look forward to helping you at one of our three stores in Hanover, Natick and Plymouth.

Welcome, Millennials! FCG Has the Quality, Sustainability You Crave

Posted by Jay Frucci on Fri, January 31, 2020 @ 07: 06 PM

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Q: What’s the difference between a boomer and a millennial?
A: A boomer went to the moon and took five photos, no selfies. A millennial went to the mall and took 37 photos, all selfies.

Every generation looks at the one behind them and wonders “what’s wrong with those kids?” Baby boomers are no different. They’ve been complaining about millennials since they were in diapers. Millennials are young adults now, and they are continuing to exasperate their elders.

Growing up, they were coddled in every way. Everyone got a trophy, even those who lost at games or contests. They are a highly educated generation, yet many have stumbled into establishing careers. They are derided as entitled and lazy. They have more debt and less wealth than earlier generations but they manage to find the money to drop on a pricey white mocha frappuccino.

But, as boomers retire, millennials are moving into leadership positions. And they have very different ideas about what’s important. They are deeply skeptical about boomers’ values and practices. They’ve grown up in a world in which information about anything and everything was available 24/7. They see their world as fragile and themselves as vulnerable.

As consumers, millennials are demanding that companies be transparent with their processes, their natural resources and their supply chain. Sustainability is their watchword; disposable is a dirty word. They want the items they buy to have a long useful life. In fact, millennials are on their way to being the most prolific consumers in the secondhand market.

From vintage clothing to certified pre-owned cars, millennials are demanding higher quality and longer usage from items they buy. Luxury manufacturers are scrambling to accommodate them with transferable warranties and free repairs. At FCG, we’re seeing more and more millennials. They’re shunning the cheap, disposable furniture that’s piling up in landfills. They want quality that lasts.

Maybe these young’uns actually have a lot to teach the boomers. Millennials seem to be turning back the clock to a time when products were made to last and every customer was special. And they are looking to protect future generations by protecting the world we all share. Sounds like a happy ending that all of us can appreciate.

What We’re Striving For at FCG: Style, Quality and Authenticity

Posted by Jay Frucci on Fri, January 24, 2020 @ 04: 49 PM

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I could feel the fluid gurgling in my lungs and knew something wasn’t right. For three days, I’d been skiing hard, the first one on the lift in the morning, and last one at sundown. Now, I was having trouble breathing.

Alta, a quirky resort in Utah, is a powder-hound’s dream. With its extraordinary views, steep drops and sparkly piles of fluffy snow, it’s a top destination for hard-core skiers who don’t mind a mountain that’s rough around the edges. At 8,000 feet above sea level, Alta is breathtaking – literally, as it turned out, for me.

After one particularly demanding run, though, I was struggling for breath. My buddies demanded that I get some medical help, and this time I didn’t argue. There was a shack with a red cross at the base of the mountain, and I glided right up to the door.

Looking around the waiting room, I was flooded with shame. One skier was holding a blood-soaked towel to his forehead; he needed stitches. On a gurney lay a teenage boy moaning in pain; a makeshift splint was holding his shattered leg in place while he waited for an ambulance to take him to the hospital. Afraid of looking like a wimp in the midst of these snow warriors, I whispered to a nurse that I was just a little breathless.

Immediately, the hospital staff whipped into action, hoisting me on a gurney and snapping an oxygen mask on my face. A dog trotted by to check on my condition. A few minutes later, the doctor arrived straight from the slopes. He was still wearing his snow pants.

“Feeling good, Doc!” I said enthusiastically, even if my words were a little muffled inside the oxygen mask. “I want to get back out there ASAP!”

Bad news, the doctor said. Altitude sickness is serious and, untreated, it could be life-threatening. East Coast skiers, especially the aggressive ones who want to tackle the highest terrain, are particularly vulnerable. The doc ordered me off the mountain and into the valley until my lungs could clear the fluid.

Looking back, I realize I’d gotten quality health care, rendered in a shack on the side of a mountain by a guy who loved skiing as much as medicine. Everything about the experience was authentic: the scruffy dog, the bloody towels, the doctor in ski pants, the rough floors, the battered gurney. I’ve never forgotten it.

That’s what we’re hoping to offer you at FCG, the real deal. Our stores are full of furniture that’s high quality and gorgeously stylish – with the occasional nick or dent that lets you know these pieces were, at one time, part of someone else’s home. Our goal isn’t perfection – it is authenticity. Isn’t that what we’re all yearning for these days?

Your Home Should Be as Special as Your Family! Visit FCG for a Custom Look

Posted by Jay Frucci on Fri, January 17, 2020 @ 06: 07 PM

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Our annual church fundraising gala features an auction where we get to bid on a host of enticements from wine-and-cheese baskets to spa facials. Only one item on the list seems to ignite a bidding frenzy every year, though. That’s a private chef’s dinner for ten in your home.

What luxury! A chef in a white toque fussing over crispy goat cheese fritters in your very own kitchen! Mint merlot cherries, anyone?

Sigh … out-bid again...

But the idea is intriguing to me. Boston has so many fine restaurants. Why is a dinner party with a personal chef so appealing? I guess it’s the same reason why some big spenders demand private jets or bespoke suits.

Custom is cool!

In the world of home decor, customizing furniture has long been an important part of the business. Upholstered sofas and chairs come in dozens of styles and shapes. There are literally thousands of fabrics from which you can choose, adding accents such as welting or fringe. The result is a one-of a kind look that is special, a reflection of your style.

Furniture Consignment Gallery is proud to offer a customizable line of quality furniture made in North Carolina by furnituremaker Sam Moore. You can choose one of hundreds of frames from our catalogue. You can examine our floor models. You can choose the fabrics that will best express your unique story. The selection process is fun because it’s all about you.

So stop by our Hanover store today. Flip through the catalogue. Play around with some of our fabulous fabrics. Dream a little.

The Churchill War Rooms Survived the German Blitz, but Were Nearly Destroyed by My Three Boys

Posted by Jay Frucci on Fri, January 10, 2020 @ 04: 59 PM

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The Churchill War Rooms in London were a top-secret hideaway from which the British plotted strategy during World War II. The underground bunker, now a museum, was designed to withstand ferocious bombing attacks by the Germans.

Two weeks ago, the place was almost destroyed by Americans, namely my three rambunctious boys.

Over the holidays, my family took a jaunt across the pond for a couple of days to visit London. I had high hopes for educational enrichment. This was clearly necessary: my eleven-year-old, Robbie, was stubbornly attached to the idea that Winston Churchill was a church on a hill in the town of Winston.

Even as we filed into the museum, Robbie was vigorously defending his theory to his two older brothers. Their scorn led to a shoving match which nearly got us thrown out only moments after I’d paid the entry fee.

My three boys are big. When they start jostling, there’s a lot of collateral damage accompanied by loud proclamations of propaganda. “I didn’t do anything!” “He started it!” “That wasn’t me!”

Nobody did anything and nothing happened, according to the boys, but everything in their wake is busted, and all three look pretty beat up. The Churchill War Rooms survived the attack, but just barely.

Waiting patiently in long queues in an art in Britain. I’d hoped my boys would learn that skill in London, but no, that was too much to hope for.

The final straw came when we landed Logan Airport. After getting off the plane, we joined the long passport-control lines. That’s when jetlag, exhaustion and impatience ramped tensions among the boys up to DEFCON 1.

How it started no one knows, but the altercation escalated rapidly to tripping, shoving, jabbing and name-calling. I admonished. I pleaded. Then I threatened. Interrogation rooms – with black-op torture techniques – were waiting if they didn’t quiet down.

Family travel isn’t anything like the glossy photos in the magazines featuring laughing parents and happy children. Take it from me, it’s a war most of the time. The victor is the one who never, never, never gives up. I learned a lot from Winston Churchill. I guess my boys did, too.

Bored with Gray? Get Ready for a New Design Trend – Color!

Posted by Jay Frucci on Fri, January 03, 2020 @ 05: 35 PM

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Here’s an urgent news flash from the home-design front: Gray is gone.

As rapidly as a sparkler fizzles out on New Year’s Eve, gray has vanished from the palette of home design colors. For a decade, gray had dominated. Designers fawned over its myriad variations with a thousand fancy names: fossil, smoke, steel, pewter, fog, shadow, sable, nickel, carbon, and even grease and mud.

Mud? Are you serious?

Good riddance, I say.

At FCG, we began to see smoke lose its sizzle six months ago. We had a couple of attractive gray sofas lingering a little too long on the showroom floor. A year ago, they would have sold in a day or so. Brian, a masterful merchandiser who manages our store in Hanover, issued the official warrant: “Gray is dead.”

2020 will be an exciting year for new trends. Already, we’re seeing hints of what will be hot this year. Don’t fret. Just because gray is gone we aren’t condemned to boring beige. According to a recent survey, we’ll be embracing an exciting new palette of warm earth tones, especially green.

Stop by one of stores this weekend and check out our huge inventory of stylish quality furniture. You can also update your home easily with accessories that will give you a fresh new outlook for 2020. We’ve got it all at FCG.



*Cannot be combined with any other offer or promotion. Cannot be used on prior purchases. ALL SALES ARE FINAL. Promotion ends Wednesday January 1, 2020 at midnight.

New Year’s Resolution: Get 15% Off on Exciting New Furniture at FCG Now

Posted by Jay Frucci on Fri, December 27, 2019 @ 11: 29 AM

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Feeling down? Maybe a little lost or disappointed? You are not alone. The holiday blues are a common phenomenon during a season in which everyone seems to expect to feel boundless joy.

Christmas isn’t the only event that can spark the blues. Many runners feel a letdown after a marathon. New mothers may experience postpartum depression. Students sometimes suffer the blues after taking final exams or even graduating.

Here are some tips to help you beat the holiday blues:

Get up and get moving! Set the alarm clock, hit the shower, put on those new clothes and drive straight to FCG. We’re running a 15% off sale. What better way to fix your mood then getting a great deal on new furniture?

Start a new project! A new year is upon us so focus on yourself and your home. Redecorate the living room. Transform your daughter’s old bedroom into a craft room. You’ll find terrific ideas for your project at FCG. And 15% off our already amazing bargains makes the task even sweeter.

Light up your life! Cure the gloom of the holiday hangover with some new lighting. Stylish table lamps add color and may enhance your mood. And all lighting is part of our end-of-year sale at FCG!

Tired of trying to act jolly and merry? At FCG, our sale is so exciting you don’t have to act. As Boston’s best pre-owned furniture and home accessories store, you’ll get gleeful just strolling through our showrooms.
Thank you for being a loyal customer of Furniture Consignment Gallery. Kick off 2020 with a bang, and drop by one of our three stores. It’ll brighten your day.




*Cannot be combined with any other offer or promotion. Cannot be used on prior purchases. ALL SALES ARE FINAL. Promotion ends Wednesday January 1, 2020 at midnight.

How to Settle a Family Feud? Declare a Sectional Ceasefire

Posted by Jay Frucci on Fri, December 20, 2019 @ 04: 48 PM

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As soon as they arrived at their parents’ house, the four middle-aged women started fighting like toddlers. Their parents weren’t there, thank heaven, as the elderly couple had recently moved to an assisted-living facility. I was glad they didn’t have to witness this squabble.

The eldest sister wanted to claim all the good furniture for herself. She raced through the house, slapping neon green stickers on every item she intended to haul home. Sister #2 wanted to call Goodwill, ASAP. “Not my style,” she announced with imperial hauteur. “So dated,” she sniffed at her older sister. “I say let’s get rid of it all.”

Sister #3 – the one who’d called me in for an estimate – wanted to squeeze every penny out of the furniture and housewares by selling it. Frugality was a family virtue. “After all,” she reminded her siblings. “Dad and Mom worked hard for all this.”

Meanwhile, the youngest was relishing the opportunity to inflict as many insults on her sisters as possible in the short time they would be together. “Goodwill?” she hissed at Sister #2. “You just want to dump the responsibility on us so you can run off with another sugar daddy… ‘till he gets tired of you in six months.”

I’m no stranger to family feuds. My Italian grandmother had five sisters, and they fought with unrestrained fervor especially at Christmas, when they’d vie for dominance in the kitchen. Actually, as I listened to these sisters spar, it brought back memories … though the insults traded by my grandmother and her sisters were in Italian, which sounds far more dramatic and threatening than mere English.

When caught between warring female factions, escape is always the best option. But first, I had to inform this angry quartet of women that their parents’ mid-century modern furniture wouldn’t make the cut at FCG. Just about every piece needed major restoration work to be sell-able.

Delivering that news to those women was a dangerous task. I didn’t want to get caught in the crossfire. But, as I fled, I caught sight of a beautiful curved sectional that spanned about eleven feet. Only in the last few decades have sectionals become the centerpiece of family-room living. This would have been one of the first.

If only those sisters would declare a Sectional Ceasefire, I thought. Perhaps they could even share a few happy memories about growing up together. After all, Christmas is about miracles.

At FCG, we have a large stockpile of classic and contemporary sectionals in our three stores. A sectional is a great way to bring a family together. It’s perfect for watching ballgames or opening the beribboned bounty brought by Santa. And if you have a feud that need settling, a sectional is the perfect place for family court. Just don’t ask me to adjudicate.